PHNOM PENH — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Indian counterpart held bilateral talks in Cambodia recently.
The meeting took place at this year’s Association of South-East Asian Nations summit at the capital city.
“We have a shared vision together for a free and open Indo-Pacific that we work on in so many different ways every single day,” said Blinken in a statement. He said the U.S. and India are proponents of ASEAN centrality, signaling close cooperation between the two countries.
In addition, Blinken also highlighted the challenges that plague the development of the ASEAN region and beyond.
“We have some immediate challenges that we are both concerned with; to include the situation in Sri Lanka, Burma and a number of other hot spots," he added.
Although Blinken did not name the “hot spots,” the discussion at the ASEAN tables included China-Taiwan tensions, after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month.
Other topics mentioned by Blinken included Sri Lanka after the island nation recently suffered heightened economic crises, mounting public anger against the government and resignation of top leaders amid political instability. He also commented on Burma's future after a coup organized by Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, in 2021, and the terror regime established in the country in its aftermath.
Blinken’s concerns were echoed by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who said that there is a lot that needs to be discussed.
“It has actually been a very busy year, we had a very good quad, and since then a number of developments have taken place all over the world,” he said.
The ASEAN summit, that ran from July 30 to Aug. 6, focused on ASEAN centrality and unity for regional partners’ cooperation.